The U.S. East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Sandy, with forecasts suggesting the storm could combine next week with other weather systems, creating a potentially severe "superstorm."
The unusual weather pattern and its expected arrival around the celebration of Halloween have led some forecasters to refer to it ominously as the "Frankenstorm."
On Friday, Hurricane Sandy battered the Bahamas with heavy rain and violent wind after killing at least 28 people across the Caribbean. The storm, which weakened from a Category 2 to a Category 1 hurricane late Thursday, still has winds of 130 kilometers per hour and is on track to affect the eastern coast of the United States early Tuesday near New York City.
The storm is expected to pound the eastern U.S. with heavy rain, wind and flooding, while its combination with the winter storm could bring snow to areas farther west such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Sandy tore through Cuba Thursday, toppling houses, ripping off roofs and killing 11 people. Sixteen deaths were also reported in Haiti and one in Jamaica. It is expected to weaken more in the next two days, but remain a hurricane.
In the Bahamas, schools, government offices, airports and bridges were closed on Friday. Authorities warned residents to stay indoors until the storm passed.
Sandy is the 18th named storm of a busy Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1 and officially ends Nov. 30.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP, and Reuters.